Guterres appoints head of UN support mission for Hodeidah of Yemen

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-01 05:40:06|Editor: yan
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UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday appointed a Danish lieutenant general as head of the United Nations Mission in support of the Hodeidah Agreement between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels.

"The secretary-general today announced the appointment of Lieutenant General Michael Anker Lollesgaard of Denmark as the chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and head of the United Nations mission in support of the Hodeidah agreement," UN chief's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a press briefing.

Lollesgaard succeeds retired Major General Patrick Cammaert of the Netherlands, who led the advance team and has been serving as RCC chair and head of the UN mission, Dujarric said.

"The secretary-general is grateful for major general Cammaert's dedicated and exemplary service during this period," he added.

Lollesgaard brings to this position 30 years of national and international military experience.

Being military representative of Denmark to NATO since March 2017, he previously served as force commander of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali from 2015 to 2016.

The conflict in Yemen started in 2014 when the Houthi rebels overtook the capital Sana'a and forced the government to exile to Saudi Arabia. Since 2015, a Saudi-led coalition, backing the government, has been fighting the Houthis.

The security situation was further exacerbated after the coalition in June 2018 launched an operation to retake rebel-held Hodeidah, a strategic port city that had been handling some 70 percent of Yemen's imports of food.

The fighting has spawned the world's worst humanitarian crisis and brought the poorest Arab country to the brink of famine.

Under the UN auspices, the warring parties reached a deal in Sweden in December 2018, which included a governorate-wide ceasefire of Hodeidah and the formation of the RCC to monitor withdrawal of troops by both the government and the Houthis in the area.

Shortly after, the UN Security Council authorized an advance team for 30 days to monitor and support the implementation of the deal.

Earlier in January, the Security Council adopted a resolution to establish a UN political mission for an initial period of six months to support the Hodeidah agreement.